Visiting D-backs appreciate Pittsburgh transformation

Visiting D-backs appreciate Pittsburgh transformation

PITTSBURGH -- During this three-game series with the Pirates, the D-backs have had an up-close look at how excited the city of Pittsburgh is about its first-place team.

All three games of the series were expected to be sellouts.

"It's a different environment in Pittsburgh," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. "It's a very good environment."

Gibson remembers visiting Pittsburgh during his college days in the 1970s, when the city economy was based on steel and coal.

These days, Pittsburgh's economy has been transformed. It is now diversified, based on services, medicine, higher education and technology.

"It's a totally different city," Gibson said. "All the coal dust, it was dirty -- it's really transformed itself into a different city, and it's pretty impressive. We've been going to all these cities all around the country, and this one here, it's pretty cool how it's kind of turned around."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.